Annual report

Annual report 2021


  • The innovation and research activities in CIM has been organized in three research Pillars and three cross-bridging topic groups, which are designed to form a translational trajectory from clinical research to implementation and dissemination of the innovative and effective interventions (see Figure 1 below).  
  • The internal CIM team, called the CIM core team, consists currently of 14 people, in addition to 10 external scientific board members.  
  • We have arranged two scientific board meetings; the first in September 2021 and the second in March 2022.  
  • A user involvement group has been implemented in the CIM structure, and secures a close collaboration with different users and stakeholders involved in our research projects. 
  • Successful application to the Norwegian Research Council (NFR) for the AID-Spine project with the full title “Applying Artificial Intelligence in Developing Personalized and Sustainable Healthcare for Spinal Disorders”, led by Margreth Grotle, OsloMet (11 mill, started 1.12.21). The project includes one postdoc (Bjørnar Berg) and two PhD positions (Lise Grethe Kjønø, OsloMet, and Zheng An Toh, Singapore), and a large group of national and international collaborators.  
  • Establishment of the internal funded research project “Co-occurrent pain and psychological distress among young adults”, led by Kåre Rønn Richardsen. The project includes one postdoc (Olaf Fjeld) and one PhD with computer science background (not employed yet). 
  • Prof Grotle is research partner in another NFR funded project with international partners; the ReISE project with the full title “Returning people with persistent pain to work using Individual Supported Employment placements”, led by Robert Froud, Høgskolen Kristiania (11 mill, also started 1.12.21)  
  • Prof Grotle is invited as the Norwegian stakeholder in the KAHLO European Spine Collaboration for Chronic Low Back Pain (cLBP), which has submitted a first stage application to the Horizon-HLTH-2022-Tool-12-01-two-stage: Computational models for new patient stratification strategies (1st stage 01-Feb-22, 2nd stage 06-sept-22). The project is led by professor Jeremy Fairbank, Oxford University.  
  • CIM has been presented in several meetings, seminars and conferences throughout 2021, among others in the MUSS conference in November 2021, which is a National Research Network for Musculoskeletal Research in Norway, led from FORMI, Oslo University Hospital (prof Grotle has been part of the scientific board since its origin in 2012). 
  • Researchers and PhD fellows arranged the second course in Prognosis Research, December 2021. 
  • Two internal research seminars with external scientific reviewers/collaborators were arranged in December 2021  
  • Successful application to the call for a Bridge Builder project on musculoskeletal health and work at OsloMet, led by Parisa Gazerani. The project includes a large group of different stakeholders, including one NAV office at Grünerløkka in Oslo. 
  • CIM has several ongoing research projects in the MUSKHealth research group (Pillar III); the first PhD dissertation will be held 13th of May (Henriette Jahre), and four PhD candidates are submitting their thesis before summer (Daniel Major, Fiona Aanesen, Rikke Munk Killingmo, and Mette Bøymo).  
  • The CIM team 40 publications in international referee-based journals in 2021 
  • Margreth Grotle received the research award 2021 at the Faculty of Health Science, OsloMet  


Short presentation of the Center  

The Centre for Intelligent Musculoskeletal Health (CIM) was appointed as one out of five Excellent Academic Environments by the OsloMet administration. It formally started in August 2121 but in practice, planning for the Autumn 2021 and Spring 2022 activities were started already during Spring 2021. CIM is an interdisciplinary research center with the mission of building an academic environment for developing innovative and effective intelligent musculoskeletal health interventions, and to create an infrastructure for utilizing technological innovations within the musculoskeletal field. We conduct high-quality research on musculoskeletal health from a life course perspective, embracing adolescents, young adults, adults, and older people. The research involves several stakeholders, including user representatives, clinicians and researchers from health service, work, and health education settings. 

The establishment of CIM is based upon a rapid development and progress of the research group for Musculoskeletal Health (MUSKHealth research group) (see, which was established in 2015 and throughout the first 5 years received funding for 11 PhD/postdoc candidates plus minor project fundings for research fellows (vit.ass). The MUSKHealth research group is implemented in one out of three of the research pillars in CIM (Figure 1).  

The figure illustrates the structure of CIM, involving people from the two Faculties at OsloMet – the Faculty of Health Science and the Faculty of Technology, Art and Design – who are organized in three research pillars and three topic groups which embraces the three research pillars. The three research pillars are:  

Pillar I: Epidemiology and clinical research. Leader is Kåre Rønn Richardson. The objective is to use machine learning and advanced statistical methods to develop and validate prognosis and prediction models.  

Pillar II: Applied artificial intelligence research. Leader is Hårek Haugerud. The objective is to develop tools, processes, and services with the aim to improve effectiveness of musculoskeletal management in clinical care, work and education.  

Pillar III: Personalized interventions and models of care. Leader is Britt Elin Øiestad. The objective is to develop and evaluate clinical care, work and health education interventions and to implement interventions based on existing knowledge and new knowledge from pillar 1 and 2. 

The three topic groups that embrace all three research pillars are: 

Value-creation and research-based innovation. Leader is Minna Pikkarainen, professor in digital health, who also is the Co-director of CIM, with a particular responsibility for the innovation activities. 

User involvement group. Leaders are Parisa Gazerani, associate professor, and Thor Einar Holmgaard (user representant from the Back Association) 

Dissemination and utilization. The daily management of this topic group is run by the coordinator in CIM, Henriette Jahre, together with Margreth Grotle, director of CIM.  

The CIM has grown rapidly, and includes several members and collaborating partners:  

  • 14 in CIM core team, including PhD and Postdoc with funding from CIM or CIM-originated projects  
  • 10 external scientific board members  
  • 25 members from the musculoskeletal research group at OsloMet (MUSKHealth) (see  
  • Research collaborators in the HEYoung and Co-occurrent projects:   

Internal: Kirsti Riiser, Kåre Rønn Richardsen, Henriette Jahre, Minna Pikkarainen, Hårek Haugerud, Margreth Grotle, Turid Sundar  

External: Kate Dunn, George Peat, Eva Skillgate, Pierre Cote, Michael Ratleff, Simon Kristoffer Johansen, Trygve Skonnord, Synne Stensland, Erling Vollan Pettersen and Anniken Lorentzen  

  • Research collaborators in the AID-spine:   

Internal: Kjersti Storheim, Hårek Haugerud, Marianne Bakke Johnsen, Kåre Rønn Richardsen, Karen Synne Groven, Minna Pikkareinen, Britt Elin Øiestad, Tor Einar Holmgard  

External:Jan Hartvigsen, Stine Haugaard Clausen,  Allan Abbott, Karin Magnusson, Hårek Tore Solberg, Tor Ingebrigtsen, John-Anker Zwart, Zheng An Toh (ZAT), Hong-Gu He (HGH).  

  • Research collaborators in the bridge builder project: Parisa Gazerani, Thor Einar Holmgard, Kåre Richardsen, Minna Pikkarainen, Margreth Grotle.  
  • Research collaborators in the innovation group; Laila Steen, Miia Jansson, Vibeke Telle-Hansen, Nenad Pavel, Jussi Raisanen, Julia Jacoby, Kaare Magne Nilsen, Rehaboo, and others  
  • Other collaborating partners; Crystian Oliviera, Niclas Karlsson, Yngve Røe,  
  • Several master students in the MUSKHealth research group and increasing number of master students involved in CIM (from both the HF and TKD faculties)   

CIM activities 

  • Formal start 1.august 2021  
  • Kick-off seminar 6-7.September 2021 at Holmen Fjord hotell with members from the administrative executive board, external scientific board members, CIM core team, and CIM collaborators (see list below).  
  • CIM seminar with international partners (Netherlands, Finland, UK) during the first week of December 21  
  • CIM presentation at the annual conference for the Musculoskeletal Research Network in Norway, Gardermoen November 2021  
  • CIM presentation at OsloMet’s Forskningsdagen 2021  
  • During 2021 and 2022 we have had regular, weekly CIM meetings  

Research projects 

There are currently several ongoing research projects in CIM (including the MUSKHealth): 

Funding applications 

  • AID-Spine, part I project: Applying Artificial Intelligence in Developing Personalized and Sustainable Healthcare for Spinal Disorders, submitted to the NFR Health call 1st of February 2021, by Margreth Grotle (11 mill, were funded).  
  • Musculoskeletal pain and psychological distress among adolescents and young adults: co-occurrence and treatment interventions:  The Health in Young Adults Study (HEYoung). submitted to the NFR Health call 1st of February 2021, by Britt Elin Øiestad (11 mill, not funded)   
  • ReISE project (Returning people with persistent pain to work using Individual Supported Employment placements), submitted to the NFR Health call 1st of February, PI is Robert Froud, Høgskolen Kristiania, Margreth Grotle project partner (11 mill, were funded)  
  • Marie Curie postdoc application was initiated during winter/spring 2021, but unfortunately the candidate withdrew due to family issues.  
  • Hvordan kan digitale helsetjenester ivareta behov for brukere med revmatisk og/eller muskelskjelettsykdom? Application to the Norwegian Rheumatic Association 1st of October, PI is Ida Løchting, Margreth Grotle project partner (200,000, no funding)  
  • The Bridge Builder project: Identification of needs and expectations among individuals, health personnel, and associated stakeholders involved in occupation and health. Application to OsloMet. PI is Parisa Gazerani, Margreth Grotle, Minna Pikkarainen, Kåre R Richardsen, Thor Einar Holmgard, and Lise Grethe Kjønø co-applicants (1 phd) (were funded) 
  • Personalized and sustainable healthcare for older people with back pain: identifying and implementing individual needs into primary care. Internal application OsloMet. Margreth Grotle is PI, Kjersti Storheim, Britt Elin Øiestad, Rikke Munk Christensen, Kristin Taraldsen, and Thor Einar Holmgard co-applicants (1 phd) (not funded)  
  • Developing a personalized intervention for persistent musculoskeletal pain in adolescents. Internal application OsloMer.Britt Elin is PI, co-applicants are: Minna Pikkarainen, Margreth Grotle, Kåre Rønn Richardsen, Eva Skillgate, Pierre Côté, Kjersti Storheim, Michael Rathleff and 1 PhD. (not funded) 
  • Applying gamification to frozen shoulder home rehabilitation  
  • Health care needs and priorities of the transgender community in Norway: A qualitative mixed-method study involving users (transgender) and providers (health care personnel). Internal application OsloMet. PI is Parisa Gazerani, collaborator Kåre R Richardsen (1 phd) (not funded). 


The Centre for Intelligent Musculoskeletal health (CIM) was formally started in August 2121. The goal of the CIM is to build academic environment for developing innovative and effective intelligent musculoskeletal health interventions. And to create an infrastructure for utilizing technological innovations within musculoskeletal field. The start of the CIM work has been successful. Two applications were submitted to the NFR in February 2021 (AID-spine and HEYoung) and the application for the AID-Spine project was funded. Total 5 applications were submitted from CIM for the internal calls. The AID spine project has started and one Phd student and one post doctor have been employed.  The Co-occurrent project has started with one post doctor employed. The CIM core group has been extended from four members to 14 members including post doc, several PhD students and  user community members. CIM activities has been also broadly disseminated through several international seminars and events organized by the CIM group.